Tag: activism

Crafts, Social Justice and Social Media #makingforchange

Craftivism Making for change

A couple of weeks ago we spent a whole week out of the office working with a group of 16 – 25 year olds  on the #MakingforChange project –  using Craftivism for social justice campaigns. The project was developed by Craftspace a Birmingham based organisation that creates “opportunities to see, make and be curious about exceptional contemporary craft.”

So what is Craftivism? Craftivism is a form of activism that is centered on practices of craft.

It is low level, often non confrontational activism that allows people to participate, slow down and discuss the issues at hand.

The making for change project introduced Craftivism as a way for the young people to talk about the things they cared about, and they had a week develop a campaign and a craft project that they could deliver to an audience. They worked hard to understand what social justice meant, what it means to campaign using craft, and to experiment using different craft techniques before their showcase on the Friday evening

The campaigns they ran included many topics from environmental concerns, with recycling and the declining bee numbers to loneliness and race issues, such as immigration and stop and search.

So where did Podnosh come in?

Well we’re obviously not artists or social justice campaigners in our day jobs, so we concentrated on what we knew best. Data and social media. For any campaign to be successful you need to have the facts and figures to back up your claims, and have a audience to share them with. So that’s what we worked on.

We introduced the idea of data, search and social media early on, before the group had even decided on what campaigns they would like to run, and then stayed around throughout the week to offer one on one support to help them with their specific projects .

In actual fact the one on one support was particularly useful because while we didn’t plan for it to be this way, as the groups and individuals were exploring issues and coming to us for help finding data we were able to help them refine their ideas and their message.

For instance one group Vishal , Rahul , Sanam  and Terell, came to us wanting to look at some very broad issues around stereotyping and racism, with a desire to do something that reflected their experiences, but they didn’t know what. They were thinking big, but didn’t know what they wanted to say. It was only by sitting and talking to them about issues they had faced and showing them some available data that they narrowed it down to stop and search – and the disproportionate amount of minority youths that get stopped – something they had first had experience of – and that refining of their message shaped their campaign.

Stop and Search Data

On the other hand another individual, Siandana came to use with a fully established idea – she wanted to to run a campaign about waste, but focusing on how litter can kill wildlife and had already developed a craft project around recycling plastic bottles into bird feeders.

Recycled bird feeder

She just wanted help on finding facts and figures to help prove her point and hopefully spread her idea further. We looked at what numbers would help her and we settled on data about the amount of time it takes different types of rubbish to break down, which she displayed on her table and hung off her feeders as discussion starters for whenpeople we busy making.

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We also helped her consider using hashtags to share her reuse or recycle for wildlife message if she was to continue with her campaign, and she decided that #GoodRubbish would be a nice play on words – she actively encouraged people through the showcase evening to tweet pictures of their makes using the tag,

 

These are just 2 examples from the week, in all there were 6 different campaigns we supported, and all of them just as interesting.

Sarah ran a campaign to Save the Bees, Mahnaz on integration in communities and what it means to be British. Heather looked at the stigma around mental health and Jaswant  explored issues around isolation and loneliness.

We supported all of them in one way or another and it’s been really pleasing that since the project has finished both Mahnaz and Sarah have been in touch for some extra support as they are both interested in taking their campaigns further – and continuing making for change.

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Stuff I've seen September 14th through to September 18th

These are my links for September 14th through September 18th:

Stuff I've seen June 16th through June 19th

These are my links for June 16th through June 19th:

  • Helpful Technology – New Ministry new website – From idea to live site took less than 72 hours, including signoffs – a thoroughly enjoyable collaboration between former DIUS and BERR people, led by Neil.
  • The Guardian’s tool to crowdsource MPs’ expenses data: time to play | Online Journalism Blog – So here’s The Guardian’s crowdsourcing tool for MPs’ expenses. If you’ve not already, you should have a play: it’s a dream. There are over 77,000 documents to get through – and in less than 24 hours users have gone through over 50,000 of those. You wonder how long it took The Telegraph to get that far.
  • Birmingham Social Media Cafe – Flick to page 29 of this month’s copy of Wired UK and you’ll see we got a mention as part of an article looking at free-form workplaces. Which was very nice of them.

    The next meet-up is on 10am to midday, Friday 26 June downstairs at the Coffee Lounge. Feel free to just turn up on the day but it’d be nice if you could sign up on one/all of:

  • Councils of the country unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains! « Policy and Performance – The essence is that councils challenge and help each other to help them get out of difficulties or ideally prevent it before it happens. We do a lot of that already through peer challenge and review, mentoring and ‘loaning’ staff to authorities in trouble. However, taking this to the next level where it’s not just a ‘nice to do’ but the whole of local government is committed to it, is a major challenge.
  • BBC – The Editors: Social media in Iran – What really stands out is the range of sources, voices and angles to be looked into. There's no hierarchy: everything's on merit, and there is of course a new set of challenges for our staff – chiefly editorial challenges, as well as a kind of chase as social media services appear and disappear in what The Times' Judith Evans describes as "an electronic game of cat and mouse".

Stuff I've seen June 15th through June 16th

These are my links for June 15th through June 16th:

  • Digital Britain – final report – The Digital Britain Final Report is one of the central policy commitments in the Government's Building Britain's Future plan and draft legislative programme.

    Building Britain's Future sets out the practical action we will take to build a stronger, fairer and more prosperous country. It focuses the energy and mission of the government in the year ahead on three clear priorities:

    * Cleaning up politics and reforming our democracy
    * Moving from recession to recovery and planning for a strong economy in the future; and
    * Reforming Britain's public services.

  • Social Innovation Camp | The Young Foundation – Great ideas: Social Chain Gangs Flash-mobbing with a purpose. This tools aims to get a bunch of people together to get something done, whether it's cleaning up a local park, helping your neighbours move in, a quick spot of gardening – fast.

    Now all we need is the people who'd like to help.

  • ASH-10 » Digital Britain needs real Digital Literacy – Pete Ashton: "I’m able to read online news for free because I can hack a URL. Can you?"
  • #iranelection cyberwar guide for beginners – The purpose of this guide is to help you participate constructively in the Iranian election protests through twitter.
  • The Stone Tapes: Feed me! – How my iPod feedreader rendered the latest blog entries from https://podnosh.com/blog/